County Wicklow  Ireland

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In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described County Wicklow like this:

Wicklow.-- a maritime co. of Leinster province, SE. Ireland; is bounded N. by co. Dublin, B. by St George's Channel, S. by co. Wexford, and W. by cos. Carlow and Kildare; greatest length, N. and S., 40 miles; greatest breadth, 33 miles; average breadth, 18 miles; coast line, about 35 miles; area, 500,178 ac. ...

(1090 water), or 2.4 per cent, of the total area of Ireland; pop. 70,386, of whom 79.9 per cent, are Roman Catholics, 18.3 Episcopalians, 0.4 Presbyterians, and 1.0 Methodists. The coast is comparatively unbroken, and is rendered dangerous by sandbanks; the chief headlands are Bray Head, Wicklow Head, Mizen Head, and Arklow Head, and these project only a little distance. Nearly the entire surface is hilly, rising into mountain groups in the interior, where valleys, glens, and lakes afford the most romantic scenery; Lugnaquilla is the highest summit, alt. 3039 ft.; the most romantic glens or valleys are the Dargle and the Downs in the N., the Devil's Glen in the centre, and the Vale of Ovoca in the S.; the largest lakes are Loughs Bray, Luggela, Dan, and Glendalough. The rocks consist of granite, mica-slate, clay-slate, trap, and porphyry; lead and copper are obtained in the centre; gold has been found in the S.; and the exportation of pyrites containing sulphur, chiefly from the Ovoca district, has been very considerable. The soil in the low tracts by the river courses is very fertile, but in general it is light and poor. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) The principal rivers are the Slaney, the Ovoca, the Vartry, and the Liffey. The fisheries are valuable, but have been comparatively neglected. The co. comprises 8 bars.- Arklow, Ballinacor (North and South), Newcastle, Rathdown, Shillelagh, and Talbots-town (Lower and Upper); 50 pars, and 6 parts of pars.; and the towns of Arklow, Bray (part of), and Wicklow. For parliamentary purposes the county is divided into 2 divisions - viz., "West Wicklow and East Wicklow - each returning 1 member.

Vision of Ireland presents long-run change by redistricting historical statistics to modern units. However, none of our modern units covers an area close to that of County Wicklow. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of County Wicklow | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Ireland through Time.


Date accessed: 21st April 2024

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